Tips to Avoid Bringing Work Stress to the Family Health
The lines between work and home life can easily become blurred. These lines became even more blurred during the pandemic, when many children did not attend school in person while their parents worked exclusively from home. Such situations have made it difficult for everyone to differentiate between work hours and time spent with family.
Before the pandemic, many professionals had already started checking their emails while on vacation, while others answered questions from the office on sick days. Stress comes with the territory of many working professionals, and this stress has the potential to seep into family life if parents are not careful.
According to the Australian Psychological Society’s Stress and Well-being Report, 31% of people cite work as one of the main causes of stress. In addition, 92 percent of all claims for serious work-related mental health problems were attributable to mental stress. The Anxiety Disorders Association of America reports that 40% of people experience persistent stress or excessive anxiety in their daily lives, much of which is attributed to work.
Every profession has its share of stressful situations, and no parent wants to bring work-related stress home at the end of a long day at the office. Here are some strategies parents can adopt to keep work-related stress from affecting their lives at home.
Create a buffer zone. Coming home straight home with stressful issues still on your mind can have the effect of eliminating those issues for the family. If you repeatedly leave work feeling stressed or anxious, create an opportunity to relax between work and home. Consider hitting the gym for an hour or taking a walk in a park to calm down. Make sure the kids and your partner understand that this decompression time is about keeping stress from coming home with you at the end of the day.
Create a logout routine. If you come home straight from work, create a system to calm yourself down and relax. Sena Moran, a Florida-based mental health counselor, suggests mindful breathing, listening to relaxing music, or some other activity that creates a system for disconnecting from work.
Deactivate the notifications. At home, focus on the house and avoid work. This may require turning off business email notifications on your phone or putting a business laptop out of the way.
Exercise more in your day. A study by researchers at the University of Florida found that participants who took at least 10,900 steps each day were less likely to relieve stress from family members than participants who took only 7,000 steps. Exercise can help reduce stress and release feel-good endorphins. Exercise combined with adequate sleep can improve self-regulation skills.
Try a new job. While not everyone’s answer, moving to a new career or even a different position can tame work-related stress and help improve relationships at home. Some people find that cutting back on hours can also help them find balance.
Stress at work doesn’t have to come home at the end of each day. Various strategies can ensure that stress stays in the office.